5 Times Kate Middleton Stunned With Her Natural Curly Hair

If you've followed Princess Catherine's gorgeous hair transformation over the years, you'd know that she's actually a curly-haired girl. Known for her sleek, flowing locks, the Princess of Wales' hair — envied by all including Jennifer Aniston — actually has naturally curly hair. The princess almost always tames her natural tresses into a bouncy blow out. But even though Catherine tends to wear her hair in carefully styled waves, it turns out, achieving the look isn't easy. Her husband, Prince William, once told trainee stylists that her hair is "long and thick," adding that it was a "nightmare" to tame (via Marie Claire). In fact, Catherine once told a fan that her hair had a tendency to "pouf up" (via Marie Claire).

In recent years, Catherine has been styling her hair in curls that are a little closer to her natural hair quality. "The texture of her curls have been carefully styled in, but has been designed to look almost like it could be her naturally curly hair," celebrity hairstylist Tom Smith told Hello! of Catherine's hairdo. "Her stylist will have used a smaller curling iron, taking fine sections and alternating the direction of the curl."

So, has Catherine been known to let her hair do its own thing? Only on a few rare occasions, and usually on holiday, when the humidity gets the better of her. Let's take a look back at some of the times Princess Catherine has rocked her natural curls.

Princess Catherine rocked natural curls during her university days in the 2000s

In a series of images shared on Tumblr of Princess Catherine from childhood through university, her natural curly hair is evident throughout the years. Back in her university days at St. Andrews, Catherine often let her hair go pretty curly. In one photo from 2001, she sits in a bar with her head in her hand gazing away from the camera while her hair tumbles around her in tight ringlets.

In another image during her time at university, the princess wears a white turtleneck sweater and carries a satchel as her long hair falls in natural waves around her shoulders. A third image from university shows Catherine wearing a brown blazer and brown pants as she walks through the college campus with Prince William and once again, her hair is super curly.

In fact, when Catherine did her now-infamous runway walk that allegedly led to William seeing her in a whole new light, she also wore her hair in thick, natural curls. Looking back at Catherine's university days, her hair certainly looks like a very different texture compared to the royal hairstyles the Princess of Wales usually wears.

The Princess of Wales tied her curly locks back during a dragon boat race in Canada in 2011

Princess Catherine's hair was all kinds of curly in 2011 during a royal tour in Canada — and it's pretty easy to see why it happened. The princess went for the all-natural look while she took part in dragon boat racing on Prince Edward Island on the country's east coast. Not only was she likely getting splashed by the waves, it also started to rain while she was out on the water — causing her hair to curl in its natural state. Although Catherine wore her hair in a tidy ponytail for the sporty day, at the back, her thick ringlets could easily be spotted.

Heather Moyse, an Olympic bobsled racer who was in attendance, later commented, "Both he and Kate are very competitive" (via the Daily Mail). Clearly, Catherine cared more about winning the race than how her hair was looking. But naturally, it looked just as amazing as ever.

In 2012, the humidity on the Solomon Islands brought out the princess' natural ringlets

As curly girls know, humidity can wreak absolute havoc on even the most carefully styled hair. Sometimes, no matter how much hairspray and styling cream you pile into your tresses or how much heat you use, your natural curls will simply burst out. And that seems to be exactly what happened to Princess Catherine in 2012 when she visited the Solomon Islands in Oceania with her husband, Prince William. 

Although Catherine managed to keep her hair relatively tame throughout the trip, during a couple of events, she let it do its own curly thing, revealing her natural coarse waves and volume. On one particular day, when Catherine wore a yellow Jaeger dress during a tour of the Cultural Village, she and William got caught in the rain. Over the course of the day, royal watchers could see Catherine's hair transform from sleek and styled to natural and curly as the humid air took its toll. And honestly, it looked pretty amazing.

Princess Catherine showed off her natural tresses during a COVID Zoom session

For most of us, the COVID-19 pandemic meant staying inside and forgoing our regular beauty regimes. After all, during the lockdowns, many people worked and socialized from home. Even Princess Catherine was forced to take her royal duties online. Like the rest of us, she ended up opting for a more natural look. While she didn't go full sweatpants and messy bun, she did occasionally let her natural curls shine through.

Celebrity hairstylist James Johnson spoke to Hola! about how the princess managed to keep her natural curls tame for her Zoom calls. "While in lockdown, Kate's done an amazing job," Johnson said. "With the half-up-half-down style she often opts for, and with hairdos like her newest one that can be turned into that easily, you get an extra day out of that look." Johnson added that Catherine did occasionally appear to curl her own hair during lockdown, too.

The princess' natural waves were evident after sailing in 2022

Once again, it seems that rough sea water got the better of Princess Catherine's hairstyle. In 2022, the princess went out on a sailing expedition in Plymouth as part of a royal event, and although she wore her hair tucked up in a long ponytail under a cap, she returned from her adventure with her all-natural waves clearly visible.

This look was very different from the original hairstyle Catherine sported when she had arrived at the event. The princess showed up in an ultra nautical look, wearing a striped sweater and white short shorts. Her hair was in a deep side part and professionally curled. However, when Catherine got out on the water, that quickly changed and her hair was soon looking a little unruly thanks to the wind and waves. Naturally, the Princess of Wales' team won the race, so a few frizzy curls were probably worth it.